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  1. #1
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    Grand Ridge and Horses

    Had a great ride early this morning and was just disgusted by how many craters from horses are all over the trail, especially the new trail area just north of GR Drive. I don't get how the horse groups fit into the WTA, KC, and Evergreen. It seems like most of the groups are on the same page, respect the trails, and work HARD to maintain the trails. Maybe I am missing this, but I don't see the horse groups doing anything except destroying the trails.

    Almost took a big digger this morning around a nice corner as my front wheel buried into to huge holes from a horse. I believe these holes cause safety issues for hikers and bikers - ankle breakers and diggers for bikes. It looked like the horse went off the side of the trail and maybe got spooked, because there are craters all over one spot. Just pisses me off. They can crap anywhere they want and destroy the trails and it seems like it is OK without any repercussion. If MTBR's were trashing trails like this, all hell would break loose. And I won't even talk about dogs crapping on the trails.

    I also walk and run on these trails. There is a ton of traffic and to me, it just doesn't make sense why horses would be allowed on this trail. It is narrow, there are blind spots, and more traffic than I see on any other trail system I ride. What about restricting horses to go North from the Black Nugget trail that comes out just past the north side of the new trail area? There is a lot more traffic on the south side and it sure seems like a safety hazard with all the walkers, runners, bikers, and dogs.

    Rant over, just kills me to see these horses destroying a great new section of trail that everyone worked so hard on. I don't see the logic of horses specifically on GR. Their asses need to be out there fixing the damage their horses are causing.

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    Wow, a bit angry their, Horses have been out there on the trails for many years before mountain bikes. The trails used to be logging and mining roads from years past and the trails were built and maintained by horsey people. Now the trails have been changed to this mythical type of trail in the name of sustainability. Breath deep and relax and remember that the walking rototillers poop green stuff for a reason. You have to have a lot of green to have these animals now. You think bikes are expensive?

  3. #3
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    Re: Grand Ridge and Horses

    Ponies: Even more reason for subsurface hardening (burying rock) capped with local/native mineral soil.

    As you have seen with our little April corner+reroute rock transport and placement takes tons of materials, and the time of motivated humans.

    That said I agree with "what have ponies done for grand ridge lately?"

    We are hardening the slimiest when wet places one or two per year. Good faith effort adding incremental value.

    The trail is long . 7 miles... (drums)

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    That is what the old trails were made of. Waste materials from coal mining, and ballast from logging roads...

  5. #5
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    Re: Grand Ridge and Horses

    So Brother Sven please end your GR boycott and have a look-see and tell us how hoof divits make you feel after your visit.

    We need strong souls like you and respect your voice.

  6. #6
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    Road up Preston this evening. Saw a bunch of hoof holes in the lower section. Lots of poop to avoid also. Not as bad as what I routinely see out at Tokul, but still ... Just part of the sport, I guess.

  7. #7
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    As I mentioned, I don't claim to know the relationship between all of the trail groups and horses. Maybe you can help me understand. I have been riding GR for about 5 years and have never seen or heard anyone from horse groups making an effort on GR. I also don't see any horse trailers lining up to ride GR. I get that they were here long ago, but am trying to make sense of why GR now? There is a small ranch out on Black Nugget and that seems to be the only group of horses to ride GR. Times change and population has dramatically increased in this area. Just because they were here first doesn't seem to be a logical argument to me. MTBR's have lost plenty of trails, but through great groups like Evergreen, we have been able to build new trails and grow. Just trying to find some logic as to why they should be on these trails with the way they are built. I truly believe they are a safety hazard in many ways on GR.

    I walked the GR trails with a big group of family members on Mother's Day and there was a ton of traffic out there with hikers and bikers. Everyone got along well and played nicely. If a few horses were on that trail on Sunday, it would have been dangerous in my opinion.

    I am fine with them being on Soaring Eagle, Tiger, Tokul, and other places because it makes more sense. Although I do feel that there should be a way to separate which trails horses actually belong on. Even Soaring Eagle has better access, more trails, and much less traffic to make it a better spot for horses.

    Not angry, just trying to understand the logic and the double standard. And just a bit frustrated that our great trails are getting destroyed. What makes it right for horses to be able to trash trails and leave poop everywhere? Just because they were here first? If MTBR's trashed all the trails and left litter everywhere, we would be kicked out in short order. If horse groups were instrumental in maintaining these trails, I wouldn't even bring this subject up. There should be some sort of responsibility here.

  8. #8
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    I'm not familiar with Grand Ridge, but I'd be willing to bet the horse groups put in as much trail maintenance time as any other user group. Sometimes we get stuck in our own mtb world and forget to look around.
    I only ride bikes to fill the time when I'm not skiing.

  9. #9
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    Re: Grand Ridge and Horses

    Quote Originally Posted by dawgman25 View Post
    ... trying to understand the logic and the double standard. And just a bit frustrated that our great trails are getting destroyed. What makes it right for horses to be able to trash trails and leave poop everywhere? ...If horse groups were instrumental in maintaining these trails, I wouldn't even bring this subject up. There should be some sort of responsibility here.
    I would trade out responsibility with accountability but otherwise :thumbsup!

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    Re: Grand Ridge and Horses

    Quote Originally Posted by OldHouseMan View Post
    I'm not familiar with Grand Ridge, but I'd be willing to bet the horse groups put in as much trail maintenance time as any other user group. Sometimes we get stuck in our own mtb world and forget to look around.
    That's usually true but this is the busiest trail near the densest ;-) population center in this state. Tiger and mt si and rattlesnake are 20-30 minutes in a car beyond.

    Seriously at the sunset exit you can any time park and pedal 20 miles oab to and through duthie. Its way short of the rural areas that attract cowboy music on the local jukebox.

    That said I've been listening to more than my fair share of cowboy music voluntarily.

  11. #11
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    A lot of people have worked on that trail. How do you know none of them have horses?

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    Re: Grand Ridge and Horses

    I love this. You guys ignoring us for working like mad idiots on a little stupid corner to make sure we can climb it when wet but otherwise crickets. .

    We know... prove it otherwise....

    Seriously this is not about individuals who worked its about impact especially on a trail just across from tigers high point put ins and are ponies allowed there? (No)

    Let's stop pointing at who did what and start realizing do we even make sense. Yes if we as a recognized group focus our time on at least one long term improvement or two per year. Evergreen behind WTA so far on county supported effort.

    Your hoofprints here....

  13. #13
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    Multi-use vs restricted-use

    I would suggest you take a moment and look in a mirror.

    For several groups who are active in the area of GR and the larger Issaquah Alps area, you (as well as the rest of the MTB community) are regarded as the no.1 culprit with regards to trail/environmental damage, the no.1 culprit for safety issues out on the trail, the no.1 culprit [Insert compliant here] ...

    While I don't really like to ride trails torn up by hooves and I really, really don't like to ride thru piles of manure, the reality is that if we (the MTB community) start to ***** about other user groups on "multi-use" trails then we are just giving these other groups (primarily the Issaquah Alps) motivation to continue to pursue their complaints against us. I am not trying to be the speech police. But again we (MTB) are seen as public enemy no.1 in this area.

    The reality is that the equestrian community has been able to retain their access to GR, Cougar MT, Squak MT and have access to more trails on Tiger. In comparison, we are completely excluded from Cougar and Squak and while we are making gains in expanding (really restoring) access on Tiger, in my opinion, we really need to be seen as a promoter of a more inclusive definition of "multi-use".

    Horses are becoming an ever rarer site on GR given the economics of owning/maintaining a horse and the fact that there is almost no where to park a vehicle with a horse trailer attached to it. The north lot at Soaring Eagle is one of the few places that can accommodate a vehicle with a horse trailer and not have a lot of traffic nearby to spook a horse.
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    Ok jdusto, that makes a bit more sense and I get your viewpoint. I would stick with 2 main arguments. Safety on this trail with the traffic it has on it and the fact that only 1 main group is even taking horses on the trail (Black Nugget Ranch). I actually know the family, so this is nothing against them personally, or their clients who board horses there.

    What about restrictions to only go north from their input trail? There has to be twice as much traffic on the south side of the trail and much steeper drop offs as well. This isn't an old road like it used to be, it is a skinny trail with a lot of blind corners.

    I could be completely off my rocker here, just trying to get some input. I appreciate the viewpoints.

  15. #15
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    JD, you nailed a key point below. As frustrating as equestrian crap and trail damage can be, it's a dying sport. You don't see many young people on horses, and the costs are prohibitive and getting more so. Horse use on trails will become less and less common.

    Quote Originally Posted by jdusto View Post

    Horses are becoming an ever rarer site on GR given the economics of owning/maintaining a horse and the fact that there is almost no where to park a vehicle with a horse trailer attached to it. The north lot at Soaring Eagle is one of the few places that can accommodate a vehicle with a horse trailer and not have a lot of traffic nearby to spook a horse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sven Trials View Post
    Wow, a bit angry their, Horses have been out there on the trails for many years before mountain bikes. The trails used to be logging and mining roads from years past and the trails were built and maintained by horsey people. Now the trails have been changed to this mythical type of trail in the name of sustainability. Breath deep and relax and remember that the walking rototillers poop green stuff for a reason. You have to have a lot of green to have these animals now. You think bikes are expensive?
    So because they're rich and have destroyed trails for hundreds of years it's ok? Keep your giant monster away from me on the trail.

    Horses, good for dinner.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chugachjed View Post
    So because they're rich and have destroyed trails for hundreds of years it's ok? Keep your giant monster away from me on the trail, I will NOT dismount, I hope I scare your horse and you fall off and get a head injury. .
    I hope you get flat tires, broken chain and derailleur cable(s)so you never make it out to the trails with a **** head attitude like that. We dont need people attitudes like this F-ing everything up for the rest of us.

    Seem like MTBers can be there own worst enemy some times
    Epic trails get built in the Northwest by epic people!

    Sustainable quality trails please.

  18. #18
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    Sorry guys, was hoping this would be a civil and constructive conversation. Trying to understand all sides of the issue and hoping there might be a better solution.

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    In the spirit of full disclosure, I have belonged to a horse club for my first 21ys, motorcycle club for 10yrs and have mountain bike for 25 years and have belonged to Issaquah alpers for 1yr. (not all at the same time)

    What is safe, what is right, is an opinion. Our trails at dictated by the political machine that determines who, what, where, and how.

    People with means will control how we ride unless we fight. We lost all of Cougar , most of squak, most of tiger and the list goes on.. Evergreen has fought back with the best of intentions possible. Since the bike trails have changed so much they have little interest to me any more. Example would be Preston, rode it couple weeks ago and it has so much rock that it is not the root, mud and log slog fest I loved. I was nearly in tears on how the trail was killed. Looks like a ADA compliant wheelchair accessible ramp. I understand with Conversations with Dave that this is needed by DNR for the mythical trail sustainability issue.

    I now ride in other areas that are primarily used by horses and by motos since those trails remind me of the type of trails I like.

    As far as GR, the ponies are dwindling and will disappear soon, the walking rototillers do not want to punch holes as its really possible to break the ponies ankle.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbty View Post
    I hope you get flat tires, broken chain and derailleur cable(s)so you never make it out to the trails with a **** head attitude like that. We dont need people attitudes like this F-ing everything up for the rest of us.

    Seem like MTBers can be there own worst enemy some times
    I don't know how you got my original post but I did edit it immediately. I have seen total disregard by equestrians so many times both of trail conditions and of boundaries where horses are not allowed. I've been bitten by horses and had one kick at me despite my being a gentleman. I've got no patience left with those monsters.

    And I've had broken chains and derailleur cables plenty of times. Never seems to stop me getting out, all those years working at bike shops I guess.

  21. #21
    Justin Vander Pol
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    Quote Originally Posted by chugachjed View Post
    I've been bitten by horses and had one kick at me despite my being a gentleman. I've got no patience left with those monsters.
    Is that really you George? I knew you rode mountain bikes, but thought you were more Texas than Cascadia.


  22. #22
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    I'm all Alaska. Wont be living down with you folks in the Southeast until August.

  23. #23
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    The trail is open to horses, deal with it. I filled one hole up with rocks, if we all did the same it wouldn't be too bad. See you all on a work party next winter.
    There's a big difference between ripping and skidding. Those who skid don't know how to ride.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_schuldt View Post
    The trail is open to horses, deal with it.
    Dave is right on this, as crabby as he sounds. There are so many trails to ride. Not to give away my secrets, find trails you like. Don't like ponies, go where they don't. Don't like mud and logs go to GR (kidding). I had to abandon most of my traditional trails and have resorted to ride on underground, undisclosable locations.

  25. #25
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    Pick up your poop

    Great points dawgman25, and great thread to all who are civil. Unfortunately, I see it going nowhere, would love it if someone has the vision to make a change. The trail workers on GR get my kudos as perhaps the only ones with credibility to offer opinions here.

    As a former avid hiker, now mt biker, since being a kid, whenever I see trash in the woods, if possible, I pick it up and take it to nearest garbage can. Who hasn't seen a wrapper, been disgusted, cursed the unknown litterbug, picked it up, and continued on to have a great day? I once interrupted a great descent on Suntop to pick up a stick as a tool to flick the horse poop off the trail. These simple acts requires me to take off my pack or get off my bike, make a conscious effort to improve things for all, but it's no big thing.

    What's different about horse riders such that they can ruin trails by usage prior to hardening and pooping with no regard to others? Surely it's a lot more effort to dismount, but they do it all the time. The poop is quite a bit larger and heavier than a candy wrapper, but all it takes is a bit of preparation, a bag and a trowel, and they can take care of their compadre's poop or even their own.

    What is a big thing, is that an entire user group, horse riders, are not ingrained with the mindset to be courteous to other users on multi use trails. Mt bikers as a whole do immense work on trails, if only they could be taught to be courteous (where courteousness is defined by actions more so than speech or a polite smile). I don't think it's possible, so I hope someone can take this thought and think of something creative.

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    Concerning the poop, Back in the 70's there was talk of having diapers on horses to eliminate the spread of non native seeds in wilderness areas. That would have been fun to see!! My pony friends actually buy certified hay that does not have seeds in it.

    In all reality keeping you mouth closed while plowing though poo or using fenders is the best we can do so far.

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    MTBers, I for one think it is totally acceptable to have a voice on this topic (i.e., dislike of horses on GR). IMHO, GR is a terrible place for horses. The trail is very steep in places, which means the horses struggle to find footing and consequently dig deep into the ground when the trail is soft.

    The idea that horses, like MTBs, can't be relegated to certain trails is preposterous. Why not? Just because equestrians have been using the trails longer isn't an argument. Times change, and right now we are seeing an explosion in MTB use that should be recognized and accommodated.

    I ride in Bend often and horses are prohibited from using many MTBing specific trails. Similarly, there are horse and hiking trails that do not allow bikers. It works and makes tons of sense.

  28. #28
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    Re: Grand Ridge and Horses

    Fair nuff spryip on changing the access but its a slippery slope. In this case the boardwalk and all bridges were built specifically to accommodate the weight of horses as horses are currently allowed. We may need you smooth talkers when it comes time to talk the county into closing it to the horsemen.

    We should then start the clock for the siege on our access here or somewhere nearby as a counterattack.

  29. #29
    Justin Vander Pol
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    Here's one way to think of it: If you advocate for removing horses from Grand Ridge, which trails (or potential trails!) would you be willing to give to the horses and allow mountain bikes to be banned from? Because that's what will happen if we go down this road. Both sides will lose access.

    I understand the desire to ride ****-free trails. But there is a bigger picture here in the constant struggle for better mountain bike access. I've been working with King Co for years on a plan to increase trail mileage in the Grand Ridge area. It will happen some day once a few missing parcels are purchased and certain partnerships are cemented. There are also some very serious political challenges with this plan and particular location, so any monkey wrench such as a fight with equestrians could kill the whole thing. That's how the battle for access goes. It's very political, very hard, very slow, but Evergreen and local mountain bikers are very good at it. Probably the best in the country given how friggin' hard it can be to get things done around here. This is all just a long winded way of saying pick your battles very carefully, since every action in this business has long term consequences, and it's a long term game.

    I also want to acknowledge that equestrians do very important trail work and sawing in much of the deep backcountry. We're more active with trail work in many places, but they're more active in others since they can lug gear over long distances easier than we can.

    I really don't see any point in starting a fight with equestrians. We get along with them really well in most cases, and there's fewer and fewer of them every year.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpryIP View Post
    The idea that horses, like MTBs, can't be relegated to certain trails is preposterous. Why not? Just because equestrians have been using the trails longer isn't an argument. Times change, and right now we are seeing an explosion in MTB use that should be recognized and accommodated.
    Accommodated yes. But do we just push out other groups to do that is ultimately the question. The reality is that several non-mtb groups would like to apply the same logic against our group and in terms of sheer numbers they like out-number us.

    From some of these groups they believe the chain oil, brake fluid, and synthetic compounds on our bikes are steadily turning natural areas into EPA super-fund sites.

    Outside of a few areas on the GR trail system many of the "conflict" areas have by resolved by addressing the issue as a "trail problem" vs a "user problem".
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    I am not willing to give the equestrians any thing - MTBs are already prohibited from many trails around the Seattle area. The point of my post was not to advocate that MTBs start an active campaign to eliminate horses from using GR. Rather, I wanted to point out that the voices of MTBers should be heard and considered. We don't need to crawl under a rock and remain silent about stuff that bothers us just because of the historical alignment against us.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sven Trials View Post
    Dave is right on this, as crabby as he sounds.
    Yes, and one more point before we bury this thread.

    While horse back riding is clearly dying in Seattle as it has been noted, the Grand Ridge trails were kept open for a long time by sustained horse usage; in the early '90s it was quite common to see horses on the trails, and I have no doubt that when trees fell on the trails some horsey folks were the ones to haul the chainsaw up there.

    And further, I think we have to look more globally to see the balance of trail work done by user groups. There are many miles of trails worth riding in north Idaho and western Montana that are kept open by the horse folks.

    So you can't just look at GR and go grrr, grrr, because it all goes around and it'll all come around.
    Rolland

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpryIP View Post
    MTBers, I for one think it is totally acceptable to have a voice on this topic (i.e., dislike of horses on GR). IMHO, GR is a terrible place for horses. The trail is very steep in places, which means the horses struggle to find footing and consequently dig deep into the ground when the trail is soft.

    The idea that horses, like MTBs, can't be relegated to certain trails is preposterous. Why not? Just because equestrians have been using the trails longer isn't an argument. Times change, and right now we are seeing an explosion in MTB use that should be recognized and accommodated.

    I ride in Bend often and horses are prohibited from using many MTBing specific trails. Similarly, there are horse and hiking trails that do not allow bikers. It works and makes tons of sense.
    You do have a voice,Grand ridge is the result of years of planning and public meetings.

    Horses are relegated to certain trails and GR is one of them.

    MTBRs are being accommodated see tiger mtn. or Duthie.

    We do have horse/hiker only trails.

    COTA in Bend is trying to stop winter riding at Phils because the mud puddles can get over 1 inch deep, we don't want to follow what Bend is doing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kliemann53 View Post
    You do have a voice,Grand ridge is the result of years of planning and public meetings.

    Horses are relegated to certain trails and GR is one of them.

    MTBRs are being accommodated see tiger mtn. or Duthie.

    We do have horse/hiker only trails.
    Really, I didn't know all that. Thanks for providing the insight - so helpful.

    The "voice" I was talking about was that some are advocating that MTBers keep quiet about their dislike of horses on GR. I don't subscribe to that.

    To be clear here, I have no issues with horses on certain trails. Rather, I have issues with horses on GR specifically. The terrain does not seem conducive to horse use. Just ride behind a horse as it struggles to climb out from the bog and simultaneously digs deep holes in the trail and it becomes painfully obvious something isn't right, especially when one considers how hard folks work to keep the GR dirt in great shape.

    Bend dirt does not equal Seattle dirt, but that is off topic. But we here in WA could learn a lot from COTA, since they have achieved a reasonable allotment of trails for MTBers and hikers only. And, yes, I have considered Tiger and Duthie and love riding both locations. That doesn't change my opinion about horses on GR.

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    Don't forget that the Grumpy Old Hiker group turned on the ponies in the early 90's when Harvey said, " now the bikes are gone, so will the horses in ten years". If they would have continue their alliance there would be no Mountain Biking in King County.

    There are political pony people who bring us along with them, not against us...

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    Juice is absolutely right!!!

    I worked with a pony guy on GR and took a week off from work after the inaugural day storm in '92 to clean the trails. He had the tractor and I had the saw and skills to clear GR of down fall. Remember the common needs not the differences between the ponies and us..

  37. #37
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    I'd rather pedal through 100 lbs of horse dookie than one pile of dog s**t.
    "My car of choice is a 12 year old civic that runs on the tears of my life choices." - redditor

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    Horse crap is only a small step worse than riding through wet grass clippings and far better than cow crap. I avoid dog crap like the plague, including all fir and pine cones because they could be dog turds too.

    Count yourself lucky that people don't take their pigs for walks! I'm dreading the day when the mushroom pickers start using pigs to find truffles like they do in France!

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    Thanks for the good, constructive dialogue in this thread. Very interesting viewpoints for sure and some background information I was not aware of. I will say, a lot of quotes are dating back to the early 90's with horses and their involvement in GR. Haven't heard of anything since then. I have lived below the Highlands since 1997 and obviously it is a night and day difference as to the what GR is all about now. I still see no logic in horses on these trails now. 15 years ago? Sure, it would make sense.

    I guess we could keep *****ing about it, have a voice and do something about it. Or, we can sit back and let things die out. Maybe it doesn't make sense to pick this battle over a few horses from BN Ranch. Some restrictions or rules for horses would sure be nice though. They shouldn't be above all the rules that hikers and bikers adhere to. I'll leave it at that.

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    If BN Ranch is to the west of GR eventually their access will get cutoff. Current routing of that trail segment actually stops short of Black Nugget RD by several hundred yards with an empty land parcel in between. That parcel was cleared long ago so a McMansion can be built on it and it is up for sale again.

    There is also a spur which heads east to SE 63rd ST but it was pretty much unpassible several years ago when I tried it last. Has this trail been cleared?

    Yes, the county bridged the GR swamp back in 2011 or 2012 (cant remember when it was completed) but I have personally seen more black bears on that trail than I have seen horses.

    The bottomline is that while horses do have access to GR the reality is that they are running out of access points to the park in general.
    The quiver: 2010 Santa Cruz Nomad, 2011 Specialized Demo II, 2011 Canfield Brothers Yelli Screamy.

  41. #41
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    I blame it on the horse trailer industry. My guess is that there has been an up-tick in purchases as of late since many of the few remaining owners on this side can't ride out their backyards anymore. but, some of those truck-trailer combos, especially the toy-hauler types have to be big bucks. Which means usually those people have leisure time to lobby as well. Personally, though I know they do trail work elsewhere, and it is appreciated, it really irks me when they don't do jack around the greater Seattle area. Except for trimming branches from the saddle so I can get them caught in my derailleur. And, they love to ignore "No horses please" signs. Nothing like repairing post holes when the equestrians ride up and wonder what you are doing....

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldHouseMan View Post
    I'm not familiar with Grand Ridge, but I'd be willing to bet the horse groups put in as much trail maintenance time as any other user group. Sometimes we get stuck in our own mtb world and forget to look around.
    I'll take that bet.

    My experience has been exactly the opposite. Every trail build I've attended, every work party I've helped, was all mountain bikers of various ages, levels and skillsets. WA, OR, MT, WY, CO. Every single state. No hikers, no equestrians, no Audubon members, all mountain bikers, all the time.

    I personally know guys who will go out and "work" on trail, just because it needs done. No free pizza, no T-shirts, no group organized anything. Just hard shovel work. Find me a single equestrian who does the same thing, and I'll buy them a beer. No, a case.

    West of the Cascades, Washington/Oregon soil is super soft and volcanic. We all know what a 1500 lb animal does to that trail. In some cases, you can't ride 10 feet. Is the same true reversed? Can a mountain bike totally destroy a path a horse can't navigate? No. A hiker? No.

    My point is we all use the trail, but "impact" is not the same. Add to that a willingness to advocate, fund, and dig, where some might argue in that light the equation gives us a touch more credibility.

    I know we ARE the newest kid on the block, so we need to earn our right at the negotiation table, but I think some of the existing user groups do nothing but rest on their legacy status. That's OK. We'll just keep building trail where we can, and as always, all other user groups are welcome...

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    Don't forget the money and political power of the ponies!!

    It is interesting, the trails my family rides have little mountain biker maintenance and mostly ponies and no hikers. Some of the BCH people have 1000+ hrs on the books for building and maintenance.

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    How about a policy that forces user groups to keep up and maintain the trails in order to use them? If we are specific to GR, does anyone know how many years ago it has been since a horse group actually worked on this trail?

    Not to continue beating this subject into ground, but I rode through about 200 post holes and 4 piles of crap yesterday on GR south side to really improve my enjoyment on the trail yesterday. Some horse really did some damage yesterday. Very sad and I will never understand how they, or any legit user on any trail system should be able to get away with this type of damage.

    It seems to me based on all of these comments that the only argument about horses being allow on some of these trails such as GR, are they used to be here or they were instrumental 20+ years ago in building the trails. Now, if horses are actively maintaining trails, by all means, they should be able to ride them. If there is no maintenance and a ton of damage, what is the logical solution?

    And again, specific to GR, it is too dangerous for horses on this trail. I can barely get by walkers and hikers in certain sections of the trail. I can't imagine trying to get around a horse. I have only had 1 encounter and it was around a blind corner and not pretty. We were both lucky it wasn't a disastrous result.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sven Trials View Post
    Don't forget the money and political power of the ponies!!

    It is interesting, the trails my family rides have little mountain biker maintenance and mostly ponies and no hikers. Some of the BCH people have 1000+ hrs on the books for building and maintenance.
    Then the BCH, with whom I have little to no problem (well, the Pasayten access they have irks me), should clue in their frakking FCH cousins to do some damn trail work.

    ETA: BCH are Back Country Horsemen, so FCH are Front Country Horsemen, a fictitious group I just made up.

  46. #46
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    Grand Ridge and Horses

    Quote Originally Posted by The Sagebrush Slug View Post
    Yes, and one more point before we bury this thread.

    While horse back riding is clearly dying in Seattle as it has been noted, the Grand Ridge trails were kept open for a long time by sustained horse usage; in the early '90s it was quite common to see horses on the trails, and I have no doubt that when trees fell on the trails some horsey folks were the ones to haul the chainsaw up there.

    And further, I think we have to look more globally to see the balance of trail work done by user groups. There are many miles of trails worth riding in north Idaho and western Montana that are kept open by the horse folks.

    So you can't just look at GR and go grrr, grrr, because it all goes around and it'll all come around.
    I always thought it was the guys with the motos and chainsaws and jerry cans clearing n idaho trails.


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    I have to say that I completely agree with DRSpalding. I do see BCH work out there in the high country and it is appreciated. But very little at all in the "front country". Unless riding along snipping branches and letting them fall to the ground to be best use as derailleur killers counts. But, mountain bikers need to tread lightly on the percentage of use versus trail maintenance pulpit. We are not always holier than thou....

    Part of the problem is may horse users are used to that posty soft trail bed so they don;t see it as a bad thing to their own use and don't understand why that plush 6" of travel needs smooth manicured hardpack to have fun.

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    Basically all of Taylor mountain trails were built and maintained by the ponies, just across the HWY from tiger

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by formica View Post
    I always thought it was the guys with the motos and chainsaws and jerry cans clearing n idaho trails.
    It depends on the trails. The moto accessible trails over by Sandpoint, yes, total tip of the hat to the moto folks.

    The hoof, foot, and pedal trails around Priest Lake that are on state land AFAIK are mostly sawed by horse folks.

    Of course, my data is now several years stale.
    Last edited by The Sagebrush Slug; 05-28-2014 at 01:22 PM.
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    1 place among many doesn't really count. It's kind of like claiming mountain bikers do all the building and maintenance at Duthie. And, the maintenance at Taylor, other than what a mountain biking county worker does, is minimal at best. Not a real good comeback.

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